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EDITORIAL: Biden's election only begins national healing

President-elect Joe Biden and his cabinet will have work to do, especially after President Donald J. Trump's hyper-partisan four years. On a local level, we can influence change as well. – Photo by The Hill / Twitter

Approximately a month after the 2020 presidential election nearly tore the country apart, America prepares to welcome a not-so-new face to the White House. President-elect Joe Biden is currently selecting members for his Cabinet and building his Oval Office. 

Among them are people like Janet Yellen, a distinguished economics professor and the former chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, who has been nominated to become Treasury secretary (she will be the first woman to ever hold this position).

Biden has also chosen Alejandro Mayorkas, the former deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under the former President Barack Obama Administration, to lead the DHS (Mayorkas will be the first Latinx and the first immigrant to be in charge of this office).

Prioritizing familiarity with politics and diversity, Biden’s cabinet will juxtapose the cabinet of current President Donald J. Trump in a myriad of ways.

There has been an American tendency to favor the political outsider. After the leadership of former Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson during the Vietnam War, and the disgraceful exit of former President Richard Nixon, there has been an increased attractiveness toward fresh faces on the political scene. 

Biden’s choices, rife with political experience, are garnering criticism from the Republican party. Tension builds as people accuse Biden’s mostly Democratic cabinet picks of ignoring the concerns of the other side of the ideological spectrum. 

Along with these criticisms, Biden’s team is receiving “warnings that he should expect a slower pace of confirmation after years-long frustrations from GOP senators about the treatment of (Trump’s) nominees.”  

Without having people that appeal to the individuals involved in the confirmation committee, there is a potential for the process to unnecessarily be dragged out longer than it needs to. A slower confirmation process means that fewer people will be in place when the Biden Administration assumes control of the nation. 

In order for him to lead Americans (not just Democrats and Republicans, as he famously stated in his acceptance speech after the election) and be a President for everyone, Biden must consider selecting cabinet members with a diversity of political beliefs. 

It is necessary for the Biden Administration to consider individuals with a variety of political opinions, but he should not have to do this. The ideological diversity in Trump's cabinet was nowhere to be found.

While it is unfair that Biden must work to undo the damage done by the Trump Administration before getting to move forward with his own agenda, hyper-political polarization has become the new norm.

We are going to move forward as a nation, even if that means dragging a section of the country into the future with us.

Furthermore, it will be up to us to hold accountable the leaders who assume our nation’s highest offices. It was the influence of young people that made all of this possible in the first place. For many of us, it was our first time voting in a major election.

As NBC News exit polls show, “Voters ages 18-29, particularly young people of color, supported Biden at a greater rate than any other age group … In key swing states such as Arizona, Michigan and Pennsylvania, where NBC News has projected a Biden win, preliminary data shows young people’s support helped push Biden over the margin of victory.” 

In one of the most historic elections in America’s history, millions of young people came of political age, and this made all the difference. Although Biden’s cabinet will not be everyone’s ideal choices, there are ways to actively get involved to voice your opinion about the politics which impact your everyday life — local elections.

Concerning elections in New Brunswick, for example, look into specific information on the Middlesex County Board of Elections about ensuring your voting status and selecting a voting plan which works best for you.

Deciding to care could mean contacting your representatives, attending a town hall or joining a political group on campus. Regardless of which method you choose, do not stop caring about the issues that matter the most to you.

Healing the divisions caused by the last four years of the Trump Administration is not something that can be done in a single election cycle, but we have to be active participants in the restoration of our nation.

The Daily Targum's editorials represent the views of the majority of the 152nd editorial board. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.

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